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Wes King Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Wes King lyrics)
Wes King Biography
With modern-day, lyrical proverbs dedicated to his 4-year-old twin boys, new Word Artisan singer/songwriter/guitarist and now producer, Wes King is back with his first CD release in nearly four years. What Matters Most takes the listener on a journey as a father shares with his sons the truth about life and God.
As you read the notes written in the CD you see a glimpse of King's heart for this project as he states, "I had a conversation with my wife a few years ago about when and if I would ever make another record just because that is what I do. I wanted to do something that would help arouse passion, feeling, and a sure consideration of those things in this short life that truly matter."
King, the youngest of five children raised in Winder, Georgia, goes on to speak of the desire to raise his sons, Harrison and Mitch, with a system of values. King attributes this to his personal faith, which he discovered at much the same time as he discovered his talent for music, specifically the guitar. The summer prior to entering high school, King's father gave him his first guitar. After only one lesson by a buddy who had accompanied him as he played Elvis for a school show, King came home to play the new song he'd just learned. It was at this point that his King's love for music grew right along with his natural talent.
A friend of the family heard King playing one day and pushed him to enter an Atlanta talent competition. After much coaxing, King finally gave in and now fondly remembers a time when he and his father drove around in his dad's 1972 candy apple red pickup truck in order to pick up the radio signal where he would hear for the first time his contest winning song played over the air.
Following high school, King went off to Covenant College where he was actively playing guitar and singing with local youth groups and was entered in the next level of the same competition he had won the year before. King didn't win that second contest, however he did learn a valuable lesson in humility and realized that ego and fame were not what mattered most. Through his playing for youth groups in the area, King met artist Kim Hill who eventually invited him to move to Nashville and travel and play guitar with her. This was the beginning of King's introduction to the recording industry and was ultimately where he was discovered as a strong talent himself.
In 1993, King's career took a huge leap, as his song, "The Robe," became a No. 1 radio single and his most requested performance. King's abilities as a songwriter were awarded and his national awareness grew, as did the demands on his time. King continued to write and create hit contemporary Christian tunes, however, once he and his wife discovered they were expecting their first child, which would turn out to be twins, King's priorities began to shift.
"I got to the point where in my mind," King describes, "I thought giving my record company great songs and being a talented person was enough and if the right thing came up I'd do it, but I wasn't going to go and tour all over the country. Touring helped support the launch of The Robe, but it became apparent that it was the song itself that truly took my career to the next level. When it came time with a new company to go and tour for a new project, I was willing to try, but with limits. At that point we had twin boys, my wife still suffers from a heart condition and I just could not be away like I'd been in the past."
With these newfound priorities on his career, King took to his writing and session playing. During this time, co-writing Michael W. Smith's "This Is Your Time," written regarding the tragedy of Columbine, and working with Max Lucado on "He Chose The Nails," he built a home studio where he could write, self-record and continue his musical pursuit on a level that allowed him to be a dad and be home for his wife and his boys, and still travel for concerts on occasion.
Through the process of working on his home studio and the help of a mutual friend, King was introduced to a Word Records executive and the concept of the new Word Artisan label. Thinking the meeting could be just another sales pitch, King was surprised by what he encountered.
"I finally met with Word," King says, "and they started explaining to me why Word Artisan was started. It all revolved around Phil Keaggy and his artistry and faith and how there wasn't a true category for that at Word Records, so they created this label so as not to be the ones to go down in history as 'the dummies who let one of the greatest living guitar players go.' I was honored to be put in the category with Phil Keaggy, which I don't think I deserve; but hey, if they think that, whatever it takes!"
It was then that King contacted producer Ed Cash to produce five of the cuts on this new project. "I wanted Ed Cash," King says, "because Ed had sent me Bebo's [Bebo Norman] first record years ago, and I thought it was unbelievable. I just thought, 'this guy gets it.' He is a guitar player, a singer and songwriter, and he is a southern boy like me! We met and we hit it off."
What Matters Most is King's debut as a producer. He produced five of the album cuts including the title cut. Wes suggests that this project will give his fans a taste of the old Wes King, the newer Wes King, and then even a new version of the real Wes King, and not only musically, but at the heart of the lyrics.
When asked what matters most in life, King replies, "I think there are three major categories of what matters most and, to me, under every category there are subcategories. Obviously God is what matters most, and the next thing is your family and then your community and church. There are then the subcategories and that is what each of these songs are, they are the subcategories.
"These songs were both chosen, and written based on what I would want my sons to know about value," King continues. "My dear friend and teacher George Grant shared a theory with me a few years ago about the book of Proverbs. His belief is that it is a story of a father telling his son the truth of life and God. A Proverb is a stealthy, no nonsense literary structure that is in my interpretation, what matters most."